LOS ANGELES -- TV promotions still reach the biggest audiences, but auto marketers say the greatest untapped potential lies with consumers poised to use other devices to respond quickly to what they see on screen.
Marketing executives see a gold mine in viewers who turn to their laptops, tablets or mobile phones to search for something cool they saw on TV or post comments on social media sites. By triggering activity on so-called second-screen devices and then serving up ads or other interactions with consumers on those devices, marketers can quickly broaden the impact of a TV promotion.
"Big brands still get built on TV," Steve Shannon, vice president of marketing for Hyundai Motor America, said in a presentation at last week's Automotive News Marketing Seminar in Los Angeles. "I think what we're all trying to do is get TV that's more engaging, where you have a second-screen experience."
Shannon said Hyundai's product-placement deal with "The Walking Dead," AMC's hit zombie-apocalypse drama, demonstrated how a TV campaign can effectively jump off the screen. The massive audience -- the show's third season finale drew 12.4 million viewers, including 8.1 million 18- to 49-year-olds, the demographic most coveted by advertisers -- gave Hyundai a wide platform for spinoff promotions and drove traffic to Hyundai's social networks, including a spike in "likes" on Facebook, Shannon said. In one promotion, Hyundai built a "zombie apocalypse-ready" Elantra Coupe with the help of Robert Kirkman, the author whose comic book series inspired the AMC show.